One Step At A Time Christian Growth Series - Step 12 - The Will Of God
Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
(Ephesians 5:17)

What is the greatest place a Christian can be? What is the greatest activity a Christian can do? The answer to both of these questions is the WILL OF GOD.

George Truett said, “To know the will of God is the greatest knowledge. To do the will of God is the greatest accomplishment.”

David Livingstone said, “I’d rather be in the heart of Africa in the will of God than on the throne of England outside the will of God.”

WHAT IS THE WILL OF GOD?

God has a plan and design for your life. You are not a leaf that fell by chance to be scattered by an autumn’s wind. Scripture says the steps of a good man are “ordered” by the Lord. Much of the will of God is wrapped up in becoming the Christian we ought to be. If we are being the Christians we should be, we will be doing what we should do and end up where we ought to end up.

PEOPLE WANT GUIDANCE

The popularity of horoscopes, palm readers, Dear Abby, Ann Landers etc. show that people want guidance. In the Bible one king randomly chose an arrow for direction. Another king looked in the liver for direction. Several times in Scripture lots were cast. God has used many ways to guide throughtout the Bible–dreams, visions, angels, pillars of clouds, fire and stars.

GOD HAS A SPECIFIC WILL FOR EVERY PERSON AND WANTS THEM TO KNOW IT

God’s “will” means God’s purpose, desire, or intentions.

Hebrews 10:36, “For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.”

John 5:30, “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me. “

John 6:40, “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.”

Galatians 1:4, “Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:”

Ephesians 1:9, “Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:”

Ephesians 5:17, “Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.”

Ephesians 6:6, “Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;”

Colossians 1:9, “For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;”

1 Peter 4:2, “That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.”

Notice how specific God’s will was in Elijah’s life:

1 Kings 17:2-4, “And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there.”

1 Kings 17:9-10, “Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee. So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said, Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.”

Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.”

Before Jeremiah was born, God planned for him to be a prophet to the nations. God has a specific plan for your life! HOW WONDERFUL!

WHAT GOD’S WILL IS NOT

God’s will is not running out of gas in front of a Chinese restaurant and thinking God wants you to be a missionary to China. It is not a treasure hunt or traumatic experience. God’s will is not always difficult to find. God wants us to know His will even more than we want to know it.

MUCH OF GOD’S WILL IS ALREADY REVEALED

The word of God has already told us much of the specifics of God’s will. A few examples follow:

1. Read the Bible daily

Joshua 1:8, “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”

2. Pray

1 Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing.”

3. Be faithful in church

Hebrews 10:25, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”

4. Witness

2 Timothy 4:2, “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.”

5. Live a holy life

1 Corinthians 6:19-20, “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

6. Marry a Christian

Amos 3:3, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?”

7. Rear children for God

Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

8. Tithe

Malachi 3:9-10, “Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”

9. Be separated from the world

1 John 2:15, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”

10. Children, obey your parents

Ephesians 6:1, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.”

As more of God’s commands are revealed to you, do them immediately. God will not reveal more of His will to you until you practice what He has already shown you. Once a Christian obeys all he has learned, God will reveal more to him. Following are some helps in obeying and doing God’s will.

KEEP THE STRINGS OF INVOLVEMENT ON

Be careful about cutting out or substituting any Christian activities you are now performing. The first step to backsliding is to cut a string such as not attending a certain church service, dropping out of the choir, bus rout, or Sunday school class. BE CAREFUL! Keep so many strings on you that it would be hard to backslide.

LOSE YOUR OWN WILL

You will never know God’s will for your life until you lose your own will. “I’ve always wanted to be...” “I’ve always wanted to live...” When we can sing the songs, “Wherever He Leads I’ll Go” and “I want to do they will O Lord—I want to do they will O Lord—Take me, break me, mold me, and make me—I want to do thy will, O Lord,” that is when God will bless us.

Have you ever totally and sincerely yielded your plans and future to God? Have you ever presented your life totally to God to use in any way He desires? What does God want you to be? A missionary, pastor, missionary nurse, bus driver, Sunday school teacher, bus worker, choir member, Christian school teacher?

BE PREPARED

Abe Lincoln was diligently studying one day when a friend asked if he thought he would one day be President. He replied, “I aim to study and be prepared for whatever God has planned for me.” God has room in His service for the Christians who are prepared.

2 Timothy 3:17, “That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”

God can use a furnished (prepared) Christian faster than one who is unfurnished. Moses prepared 40 years for a 40 year ministry. Jesus prepared 30 years for a 3 year ministry. The disciples prepared 3 years for their ministry! Prepare!

KEYS TO GOD’S WILL

God uses the following instruments to guide, advise, and direct us into His will:

  1. Bible Prayer
  2. Parents Pastor
  3. Government Circumstances
  4. Friends

DO NOT PUT OUT FLEECES

God chose Gideon to lead Israel in victory against the Midianites. Gideon doubted God’s Word and asked for God to give him a sign. So he laid out a fleece and asked that it be dry, but the ground wet in the morning. God did it. Then Gideon asked God that the fleece be wet, but the ground dry. God also did that. This sign was not needed. God had already commanded Gideon to lead. An immature Christian asks for signs. Sad to say, some Christians have made life-changing decisions by simple things such as if it rained or not. How sad when we have God’s precious Word to seek. DO NOT ask God for additional teaching where His Word is clear. You do not pray about tithing, soulwinning, or being separate from the world. It is already answered in the Bible. Some have resorted to opening the Bible and pointing to a verse for an answer. That is like the guy who opened the Bible to three different places. The result was:

“Judas went out and hanged himself,”
“Go and do likewise,”
“What thou doest, do quickly”
HOW DANGEROUS!

READ PROVERBS DAILY

Much of life is discussed in the book of Proverbs. It is pure, easily digested wisdom. Pick the Proverb for the day, (there are 31 chapters) and read it, slowly. If it is the 15th day of the month, read Proverbs 15.

SEEK COUNSEL FROM GOD’S MAN

Proverbs 1:5, “A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:”

Proverbs 8:14, “Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength.”

Proverbs 11:14, “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.”

When making major decisions, a wise Christian always seeks counsel. Seek the counsel of your pastor. He knows you and may offer unique insight that you have not considered.

BE SLOW IN MAKING DECISIONS

Serveral years ago, a policeman put on a regular tie with his uniform instead of the clip-on kind he usually wore. He thought nothing of it. While routinely giving out a traffic ticket that day, a person grabbed his tie and strangled him with it. A clip-on tie would have pulled off. A seemingly insignificant decision may have devastating results!

Life is a culmination of every decision-which clothes to wear, what to eat, what to buy, who to have as friends, what to read, who to marry, and where to work. Much of life has been the decisions which led us to where we are!

BIBLE CHARACTERS AFFECTED BY “small” DECISIONS

Lot pitched his tent toward Sodom and lost his family

Daniel purposed in his heart not to eat the king’s meat and became Prime Minister.

Felix decided to wait for a convenient season to get saved, but that season never came.

David decided to sit out one battle and committed adultery

Achan decided to take some garments, gold, and silver. It cost him the life his family and thirty-six other men.

Elimelech decided to move to Moab. He and his sons died there.

BIG DECISIONS WHICH MAY SEEM “small”

  1. Choosing to move
  2. To go on a vacation
  3. To read the Bible daily
  4. To establish a daily prayer time
  5. To attend a church service
  6. To invite someone to church
  7. To join a church

BEFORE MAKING A MAJOR DECISION

  1. See if your Bible reading verifies it.
  2. See if your prayer life confirms it.
  3. See if your counsellors are enthusiastic about it.
  4. Ask yourself “what would Jesus do?”
  5. See if it is breaking any string of involvement
  6. See if you are being pressured for a quick decision.
  7. See if you are deciding with eternity in mind.

JESUS—OUR EXAMPLE

Jesus constantly told the Father, “not My will but Thine be done.” He bathed His decisions in prayer. Before choosing His disciples, He prayed all night long! How flippant we are at making big decisions!

HOW IMPORTANT IS GOD’S WILL?

2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

If every Christian were doing God’s will, every person on earth would hear the gospel. When a Christian does not do God’s will, people eventually go to Hell. How sad for someone to live their entire life and never fulfill the purpose for which they were created!

There is a court house in a western state where rain that falls on one side of the roof flows into the St. Lawrence and Mississippi rivers to the Gulf of Mexico. Rain falling on the other side goes into Lake Erie and then the Atlantic Ocean. It takes one puff of wind to separate drops of water by 3,000 miles! One decision can draw us nearer to God or remove us from God’s will into a backslidden state. How sacred is His wonderful will! Let us accomplish His will in our lives!

Sources:
Knight’s Book of Illustrations

Scripture verses are from the King James Holy Bible.
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